What Does A Man In An Affair Mean When He Says He Wants To Take A Break From All Relationships?

Much of the time, the people that I dialog with are one part of a married couple who are dealing with infidelity. Occasionally, though, someone who is actively having an affair (or trying to keep one from ending) will reach out because they need help figuring out someone’s motivations or thought process. For example, perhaps a husband is trying to break off an affair and the other woman doesn’t buy or understand his reasoning for this.

She might explain a situation like: “I had an affair with a man who I adored for over seven months. I know that this is a cliche, but I really did believe that he was going to leave his wife for me. I truly did believe that he loved me. He seemed very into our relationship and was full speed ahead until his wife unexpectedly found out about us. After that, everything crumbled. I guess his wife didn’t take it very well and somehow his older child found out and became very upset. For a while, he tried to reconcile with his wife and told me to stay away. I don’t know how it went between them because he wouldn’t take my calls. But I can only assume that it didn’t go as expected because last week, he called me again. I got all excited. We went out to dinner and I thought that it was going well. I thought that we would end up going back to my place and that one thing would lead to another. But when I suggested that, he told me that he’s decided that he needs to take a break from relationships for a while. I literally laughed at that because he never turned down anything physical from me. He said that he was going to take sex out of the equation with all women for a while. This just isn’t like him, so I figured he must be doing well with his wife and is sexually happy in the marriage. But if that is the case, why have dinner with me? Since then, he stopped taking my calls again and one of my friends said that she saw him with his family. I almost wish that he had never called me. I don’t get the purpose of it. Why would a man even want to be celibate? Is he lying to me?”

I have no idea if he is lying. It seems quite clear that he may be struggling somewhat with how move on with his life. But, in light of the fact that he didn’t have any physical relationship with you once he ended the affair, it DOES seem as if he is indeed trying to move forward regardless. This may or may not include trying to save his marriage. And frankly, that is his business. Every one can understand a parent wanting to maintain their family after their child becomes understandably upset. We have no way of knowing what the wife wants, but again, that is no one’s business but hers or the family’s.

The truth is, married men will say or claim all sorts of things in order to end an affair in the cleanest, least painful way as is possible. I have no idea if he is celibate or not, but he seemed to use it partly as justification for breaking things off and insinuating himself from a physical or sexual relationship, which tells you that he’s being truthful about the relationship being over and about him turning his attention to his family. I know that it’s painful, but I don’t think that you can fault him for wanting this.

Don’t you deserve a relationship where the other person can have a complete relationship with you, that doesn’t need to be hidden or based on guilt? Don’t you want a relationship where the man is free and happy to have a physical relationship and isn’t claiming to be celibate?

This man may well feel the need to take a break from romantic relationships or even from sex, but that is just one more sign that everyone might consider moving on. There seems to be very little pay off here and all kinds of pain. I am admittedly biased, but it seems to me that the obvious and best thing to do would be to wish him well, but let him go. Do whatever healing that needs to be done for yourself and for your own life. Give yourself time to focus on your own healing and what you want, need and deserve. And the next time, find a man who is free to be completely yours – emotionally, legally, and physically. Everyone deserves a complete relationship – not one that must be hidden or based on deceit, doublespeak, and pain.

The Revenge Affair: Characteristics of the Adulterer

“I Want to Get Back at Him/Her” is one of 6 kinds of affairs I outline in my E-book.

This is the “revenge affair.” It occurs in a marriage in which one feels slighted in some manner and seeks revenge by engaging in an affair.

It is less a movement toward the other person and more a movement away from one’s spouse. The offending spouse usually lacks the skills of personal confrontation or is frightened by the prospect of someone “getting upset.”

When evaluating this kind of affair, make a distinction between revenge and rage. Revenge is not rage. Rage comes from a different source, as outlined in one of the other kinds of affairs.

Here are some characteristics of the person who uses infidelity as revenge:

1, Usually is rather unpredictable and erratic in his behavior.

2. Has a hard time making decisions.

3. Is often impatient and irritable when things don’t go her way.

4. Some of the resentment seems to “seep out” along the edges, maybe when you least expect it.

5. Engages in teasing.

6. Can be stubborn and unyielding.

7. May often take oppositional view and pride himself on being contrary or taking an unpopular stance.

8. Can have moments of impulsive behavior and be labeled high-strung or tightly wired.

9. Has an underlying worldview that is pessimistic. Glass is half empty.

10. Has a tendency to wine or complain.

11. May have moments of sullenness and dejection.

12. Women may respond very intensely during their menstrual cycle. Men may appear very moody at certain times of the month.

13. Manipulates others with unpredictability and demandingness.

14. Family of origin often marked by factions and sibling rivalry.

15. Has difficulty with intimacy since her behavior patterns push people away.

If you are interested in learning about the 6 other forms of infidelity I outline in my book, “Break Free From the Affair,” visit my website.

The Guiltless Affair

I get weird, morbid pleasure sometimes out of talking to my husband about cheating. Affairs. Scandals. I can’t help but bring it up while casually scanning his eyes for a glimmer of guilt, looking for a certain reddening around the collar, trying to catch the whiff of women’s perfume when he leans in to hug me and promises he’d never, ever forsake me for anyone else.

Despite continued vigilance, I’ve yet to find any clues that my husband is fooling around. The deepest recesses of his closet hold only lint balls. The messages on his voice mail at work are dull and mundane. The credit card statement contains no mysterious charges, besides the revelation that Hubs eats far more barbeque for lunch than he admits to. Okay, okay, I can be a snoop- but only after I’ve watched an episode of Cheaters and gotten tears in my eyes as Two-Toned Tammy screams “We got a baby together! We got a baby together! How could you do this to me!” at her philandering boyfriend-of-six-years after catching him in the Popeye’s parking lot with her roommate/sister/best friend.

I’m not alone in my snooping, either. Hubs likes to show up in the middle of the day sometimes, unannounced, just to “see what I’m up to.” When I went out of town with the kids a few months ago, I returned home to discover that he’d gone through my entire bathroom cabinet, searching for God-knows-what. He’s also admitted to Googling my ex-boyfriends. I find this kind of thing flattering. I’ve told Hubs I don’t ever want a boyfriend. But I’ve admitted that I would really like an admirer.

My admirer would be quite handsome, enough to give my husband pause, but he’d also be an advocate of courtly love and would have a “look-but-don’t-touch-EVER-not-even-when-you’re-both-a-little-drunk-and-there’s-no-one-around” kind of sensibility.

Instead, my admirer would content himself with sending me flowers (Casablanca lilies) and boxes of candy (Godiva) and books of poems (Neruda), with notes that say things like, “When I saw you in carpool this morning with the sun in your hair, I realized I had never seen anyone or anything more beautiful.” Or “You fold a fitted sheet with a grace and perfection that others can only dream of. Thank you for being you.” Or even “You are the hottest soccer mom this side of the Mississippi. Ah-OOO-gah!” I’m not particular. It’s the thought that counts.

My husband might not like all the attention my admirer would give me, but he’d have to tolerate it because he has plenty of admirers of his own. The nature of his job is such that people are constantly coming up to him and telling him how great he is. He loves to tell me these stories, to which I counter with something like, “Oh the same thing happened to me today. I was at the supermarket and this total stranger walked up and said, ‘I just love your ability to save at least 25% on your grocery bill every time you shop!'” Hubs generally snorts derisively while I quietly seethe. But my admirer would put a stop to this kind of behavior.

“Hubs,” he’d say, taking my husband’s hand and shaking it heartily, “I hope you know you’re a very lucky man.” Hubs would look slightly uneasy as he noted the firm handshake and kind eyes of my admirer. That night, Hubs would turn up with a large bouquet of his own and an offer of dinner and dancing. Or dinner and drinking, which is more our style.

“Admirer,” I’d say as he called me on the phone for the fifth time in a week, just to hear the charming lilt of my voice, “I really can’t accept your gifts anymore. You’ve been simply wonderful, but between you and me, I think Hubs is getting a little jealous.”

“Lucinda,” he’d whisper with just the right blend of regret and compassion, “I will be content to admire you from afar, if that’s what it takes to make your life easier. But I have devoted my life to you- and the evidence of that will be impossible for either of you to ignore.” Regretfully, we’d both hang up the phone.

After weeks of not hearing from my Admirer, my husband would silently bring me a copy of the Living section of the newspaper. “Local Artist Receives International Recognition for “Lucinda” Series”, the headline would read. Pictured beside his oil painting called “Lucinda with the Sun in Her Hair” would be my Admirer, his searing, questioning eyes burning through the newsprint.

A short time later, I’d be named Parent Magazine’s Mother of the Year based on an anonymous submission. Hubs would try to pretend he mailed in the entry, but the editor’s admission that my “ability to artfully manage the lives of my husband and three children while radiating an amazing inner calm and stunning the locals with my otherworldly beauty” set me apart from the other entrants would clue me in on who was really responsible for my resulting photo session and free trip to New York.

By the end of that year, “Lucinda (Love of My Life)” would top the Adult Contemporary music chart.

I’d join the super exclusive ranks of world famous muses. Occasionally, Vogue or Vanity Fair would do short pieces on me, despite my wish to remain anonymous. The only photos they’d be able to secure would be of me rushing between my minivan and my front door, using one arm to balance Baby and a bag of soccer balls and holding up the other in front of my oversized-sunglasses-and Pucci scarf-covered face. Yet readers would note the winsomeness in my frown, the hurried spring in my step. Soon, I’d have Admirers showing up at my door from all parts of the globe.

So you see, what’s an affair really besides some hurried bonking and a lot of postcoital guilt? An admirer is really the way to go. If you know of any good candidates, I’d be happy to review their qualifications…